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Cloth diapers offer environmental benefits – but at what cost?


Cloth diapers have endured a lot of changing sentiment over the years.  Initially regarded as old-fashioned and non-hygenic, they were replaced almost universally with disposable diapers in the late twentieth century.

Today they are undergoing a bit of a rebound in public opinion.  Reusable cloth diapers are unequivocally less destructive to the environment.  Cloth diapers produce less garbage, are generally less expensive in the long-run, and can be easier and gentler on your babies’ skin.

Cloth diapers offer another long-term benefit: they can be used for subsequent children.

On the downside: cloth diapers require a much greater effort than disposable diapers.  If you have ever changed a disposable diaper, you know that throwing the diaper into the diaper pail is one of the easiest steps in the process.

With cloth diapers, that process becomes more painstaking.  You’ll have to pre-clean and wash your cloth diapers like regular clothes.  Additionally, you’ll have to tolerate more of the lingering smells of whatever your baby ate for breakfast than you would with disposable diapers.

If you’re dedicated to reducing your environmental footprint, cloth diapers are a great way to do so.  Just know beforehand, they aren’t as easy as disposable diapers.

Here are a few of our favorite cloth diapers on the market.

Best Overall: BumGenius Freetime All-In-One Cloth Diaper

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The BumGenius Freetime All-in-one cloth diaper features a butterfly closure system which ensures they stay put on even the wiggliest of babies.  These diapers provide a comfortable, snug fit.

Also, the adjustable snap system makes them so easy to use compared to flats and prefolds.  You’ll be able to confidently send them to the grandparents or a daycare provider secure in the knowledge that they will be correctly changed.

The BumGenius Freetime All-in-one cloth diapers adjust and grow with your baby.
They provide a great fit.

BumGenius offers a range of cloth diapers including all-in-ones, and pockets styles all in vibrant bright colors making them a fan favorite among moms.

Best All-In-One Diapers: Bambino Mio, Miosolo All-In-One Cloth Diaper

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All-in-one diapers make a great first investment for parents who are anxious about making the change.  The Babino Mio and Misolo all-in-one diapers feature attached cloth liners and a waterproof cover.  Those features mean the least amount of assembly for parents and keep leaks down to a minimum.

Bambino Mio all-in-one adjustable diapers grow with your baby from newborn to the toilet training stage making them an excellent fool-proof investment. The rows and rows of snaps allow you to custom fit the diaper to your baby.

Additionally, the absorbent core wicks moisture away from your little one’s skin, preventing diaper rash and irritation.  The fabric is so stretchy providing all-day comfort and doesn’t interfere with your baby’s natural urge to crawl, wriggle and play.

Best Pocket Diapers: Rumparooz One-Size Cloth Pocket Diaper Snap

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Pocket diapers feature a removable liner.  This allows parents to customize the absorbency depending on the length of time the baby will be wearing it. For example, on longer car journeys or overnight you can insert thicker inserts than for shorter periods during the day.

Rumparooz diapers offer four sizes in one, fitting most babies from 6 to 35 pounds and beyond. A dual inner gusset keeps even the biggest of messes contained. The Rumparooz feature an insertable liner which fits inside the pocket.

They are rated at six different stages of absorbency so that you can find the perfect balance between comfort and protection. Rumparooz diapers come in a range of beautiful colorful designs with some highly sought after limited edition prints.

Best Budget: Imagine Baby Products Newborn Stay-Dry All-In-One

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Cloth diapers can be costly as an initial investment.  But they can also be laundered and reused.  They can be utilized by other children, so the cost is spread out over years.  Whereas disposable diapers are a weekly expense, cloth diapers are a one-time investment.

This budget-friendly option from Imagine Baby Products offers a dependable, easy to use all-in-one cloth diaper at a very affordable price. The no-pill fleece inner lining stays soft and comfortable wash after wash and keeps baby dry and comfortable between changes.

The gentle leg casing prevents red marks and allows baby freedom of movement. As the liner is sewn on one side and snapped in the front these diapers conveniently dry quickly after washing. Suitable for babies weighing 5-13 pounds these diapers are an affordable choice for your first set of cloth diapers.

Best Luxury: Charlie Banana 6 Diapers Plus 12 Inserts

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The premium Charlie Banana diapers feature organic cotton designed to ensure your baby has fewer diaper rashes. The versatility of these diapers makes them stand out from the rest.

Charlie Banana diapers can have disposable or reusable liners inserted.  The best of both worlds. Mom and Dad can choose: either the convenience of being able to throw out the liner on long trips or after big blowouts or the economical and environmentally-friendly option to wash and reuse.

Each Charlie Banana diaper cover comes with two absorbent and soft hemp inserts suitable for day or overnight wear.  These diapers come in beautiful bright shades and patterns and make excellent gifts.

Best Design: ALVABABY Pocket Cloth Diapers

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Alvababy cloth diapers stand out. Their beautifully fun and colorful designs are a whimsical delight. You won’t even want to cover them up.  They look better than most baby clothes.  They provide great protection and a comfortable fit in charming prints, like foxes, umbrellas and stars.

ALVABABY diapers are BPA free, phthalate free, latex free and lead-free.  You can be confident that your little one is dry and protected from environmental contaminants and skin irritants.

The double row of snaps and elasticated leg gussets offer a secure fit and added protection against leaks.

Best For Potty Training: Babyfriend Lovely Training Pants

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As your little one grows and begins to potty train, you’ll need a diaper option they can begin to take on and off by themselves to learn how to use the bathroom.

However, you’ll still need these diapers to have added absorbency.  You will need to cope with the inevitable accidents that will happen during this time.  Babyfriend training pants are made with 100% cotton and an inner lining of waterproof cotton for comfort and protection from leaks.

The elastic waistband makes them comfortable.  And they are easy to remove by toddlers.  They are completely machine washable.  So you can use them again and again.

Your child will love the playful designs including a tractor, frog and lion. In sizes 18 months through to age 3, they provide an effective bridge between cloth diapers and big kid underwear.